Cinema for me is…
Madara in 23 Frames
1. Describe yourself in ten words.
Hard working, passionate, loving, righteous, instinctive and always on time.
2. Your best quality? Your worst habit?
Having a highly developed feeling of empathy. Worst habit would have to be forgetting to reply to messages after I’ve read them.
3. Your dream job?
Whatever it is, it has to be done remotely and from any place in the world.
4. What do you like most about your country?
The strong connection with nature that every Latvian feels (even if he himself isn’t aware of it yet).
5. Your favorite dish in your country?
Definitely potatoes with cottage cheese and spring onions.
6. Which word or phrase in your native language do you like the most and what does it mean?
I was just recently reminded by a Latvian brand Benji Knewman about a magical junction of words that is “dritvaikociņ” = a word that a Latvian uses, when he accidentally steps on a Lego brick in the dark.
7. What European capital have you visited lately?
8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?
Spain for sure! Or Italy.
9. What does Europe mean to you? 3 values.
Humanity, opportunity and growth for society.
10. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
The first film that pops into my mind when thinking about vivid cinema experiences as a kid, is Labyrinth (Jim Henson, 1986, UK) starring David Bowie (which at the time I knew nothing about yet fell in love with him immediately). I remember how enchanted by the visuals of the film I was. Ever since then, I still watch the film once in a while just to recur the magical feeling I felt as a child when watching it.
11. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
An independent film theatre in Riga – Kino Bize, that is the coziest and most chill cinema in our city. There are very limited number of seats in the cinema, but you can always be sure, that the seats will be filled by people who enjoy cinema and loves to enjoy it with respect not only for the creators of the film but, also the people who are sitting next to you and sharing this specific film experience with you. And very often the team of Kino Bize is organizing discussions regarding film-related topics, which enriches the film going experience even more.
12. Who is your movie hero?
Not naming anyone specific, but it’s definitely someone going through an experience. I believe that the most important task (if there is any) for a film is to switch something in the viewer. To do so, that after the film, something has changed. And my movie hero is the same – always experiencing changes.
13. Which movie director would you like to be?
Maybe if you’d ask tomorrow my answer would be different, but today it is Paolo Sorrentino, simply because of his skill to completely break ones soul into pieces, but until the end of the film putting it back together, which is something that I highly admire and that for me makes him a gram more special than any other director.
14. Briefly describe your favorite scene.
I can’t say that it’s my favorite scene, but it’s the one that I still remember very vividly and probably will for some time. It’s the pie eating scene from the film A Ghost Story (David Lowery, 2017, US). The famous four minutes of pie eating in this film manages to communicate much more than just the first obvious concern for the wellbeing of the digestive system of Rooney Mara. There is a moment in the middle of this static camera shot where you understand, that it is still going on, and at that moment you realize you are just like the ghost standing in the background. You see and in the hurtful silence sense the pain she is feeling, but you can’t react to it anymore, you are just a bystander.
15. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
Loveless (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2017, RU) is definitely my number one film I have seen during last year. I also very much enjoyed The Square (Ruben Östlund, 2017, SE) and BPM (Beats Per Minute) (Robin Campillo, 2017, FR).
16. Which film character do you most identify with?
It’s actually Esmeralda from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Gary Trousdale / Kirk Wise, 1996, US). Of course the character itself is borrowed from Victor Igo’s gothical novel with the same title. This is an animated film that has been my favorite ever since I can remember myself, and I have always felt a very strong bond with the main character of the film – the gypsy dancer Esmeralda. She has been a role model for young me, and I am still to this day finding inspiration from her act and appearance. Oh, and I am also a gypsy, so I don’t have a choice but to have this instant and unsurpassable connection with my fellow sister.
17. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
I am so glad for this question, because I can’t stress it enough how important for me is music in film, actually 95% of music I listen to every day is film scores. Because of that, of course it is impossible for me to name one score that I would call my favorite, but I can name a few composers whose work is really dear to me, and those would be – Abel Korzeniowski, Lukas Lauermann, Nils Frahm – especially for his marvelous work for the film Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, 2015, DE) – and of course the legends within film score composers – Max Richter and Hans Zimmer.
18. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
Oh, I am going to be really frank here and won’t try to be fancier than I am by naming some very artsy European film. It’s Harry Potter, of course. And I don’t think this needs any additional commentary.
19. Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
It would have to be Emma Stone, because if the producer would be ready to hire her, it must mean I am VERY successful by the time (taking in mind that in 2017 Emma Stone was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood). We however have no visual resemblance whatsoever, but we would work something out.
20. Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to eat without sound, because sometimes the craving for snacks in cinema gets even to the best of us.
21. What is your most treasured possession?
My books, definitely. I love to write notes in them, to highlight and comment on ideas that seem important or which I don’t agree with. Those are like diaries to me, because I can look back at the books I’ve read years ago and see how much my opinion about things and ideas has changed and developed.
22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Coming from a small town with no connections or any practical information about how films are made, but with an enormous love towards cinema, to be able to now work on the set of feature films, and not only seeing how it’s done, but being a part of making them.
23. What is your motto?
Never forget to keep on going, because you can always do more, learn more and give more. Always.